Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday Thirteen 445: Recently Read

Below are featured the latest books read, all but two of which were finished in 2016. I exceeded my goal in the Goodreads Challenge, finishing the year with 84/80 books read. I have set my 2017 goal at 80 once again. As always, click on any cover or link for more information.














ABOUT THE BOOKS:


ROW 1:
The Cat, The Collector and The Killer is book seven of a favorite series by Leann Sweeney called "Cats in Trouble," and Grace Against the Clock is book five in the "Manor House" series by Julie Hyzy. I enjoyed both of these. Hooked on Murder is book one in the "Crochet" series by Betty Hechtman, who was the November Featured Author in the Cozy Mysteries group.

ROW 2: One Book in the Grave is book five in the “Bibliophile” series by Kate Carlisle. I have quite a few more to catch up on in this series. Three Bedrooms, One Corpse is book three in the “Aurora Teagarden” series by Charlaine Harris. I plucked this one out of Mount TBR after attending a discussion with Harris during the Wisconsin Book Festival (plus, it fit a mini reading challenge). Again, several more in the series — not to mention three other series by Harris— to catch up on. Passenger to Frankfurt was the December group read for an Agatha Christie group at GR. Though written in 1970, there were many passages that eerily described what has been happening in this country (and the world) recently. Too bad the general unrest and divisiveness around the world cannot be as easily resolved as it can in a novel.

ROW 3: The Visitor is the long-anticipated fourth book in the “Graveyard Queen” series by Amanda Stevens. I look forward to books five and six, and learning where the plot is going! Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman is book one of the "Year-Round Christmas" series by Vicki Delany, and was a good start to the series. The Nights Before Christmas is an older book by Vicki Lewis Thompson and was a nice, steamy read to heat things up for the holidays.

ROW 4: Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris is a book I had heard about at Goodreads, and which many recommended. Aside from the first story, "The Santaland Diaries," and one or two other shorter ones, I was greatly disappointed. It wasn’t as funny as I’d been led to believe — or maybe it just isn’t my brand of humor. In any case, I did not like it overall. Thankfully, the next two books read were much more to my liking. A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg was a December 2010 group read for TNBBC, but I only recently came across a copy of the book. I’m surprised Hallmark hasn’t made this one into a movie, as it would fit their December lineup perfectly. Similarly, Starry Night by Debbie Macomber is a perfect fit for the holiday season. While Holidays on Ice may be destined for the library monthly used book sale, these two are definite keepers.

ROW 5: The Stranger by Albert Camus was the November group read for a Classics group at GR. This book read surprisingly fast and was often difficult to put down. In fact, I nearly finished it on the bus to work, and stood at the bus stop to read the last page. The novel is divided into two parts, and people were generally disturbed by how part two played out. Definitely thought-provoking!


Your turn: What are you reading?




LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen






Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday 250: Angel Puzzle Box

Hand-carved Puzzle Box




LINKING TO:

Wordless Wednesday




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday 345: One Book in the Grave

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



This week’s teaser comes from another cozy mystery, One Book in the Grave by Kate Carlisle.



I grabbed onto the edge of the sturdy display case to steady myself and looked down to see what had caused me to trip. It was a man’s shoe.

(Chapter two)









ABOUT THE BOOK:
Series: Bibliophile #5

There may be grave consequences for bookbinder Brooklyn Wainright as she attempts to solve two murders tied to one book . . . .

Brooklyn’s chance to restore a rare edition of Beauty and the Beast seems a fairy tale come true — until she realizes the book belonged to an old friend of hers. Three years ago, Max Adams, a brawny, renowned papermaker, fell in love with a stunning beauty, Emily, and gave her the copy of Beauty and the Beast as a symbol of their love. Soon afterward, he died in a car crash, and Brooklyn has always suspected his possessive ex-girlfriend and her jealous beau of wrongdoing.

Now she decided to find out who sold the book so she can return it to its rightful owner—Emily. She believes a rare book dealer can assist her, but when she arrives at his shop, she finds him murdered. Is it possible that the same couple who may have killed Max is now after his edition of Beauty and the Beast? With the help of her handsome boyfriend, Derek Stone, Brooklyn must unravel the murder plot—before she ends up in a ploy herself . . . .





Saturday, January 14, 2017

Random Photo: Submerged

The Downside of rain in winter . . .
And then it turned to solid ice. 




Friday, January 13, 2017

Skywatch Friday 180

Late morning, Jan 01, 2017
These are actually clouds, not contrails




LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday




Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday Thirteen 444: Ornaments

Because I did not get to share before Christmas, here are thirteen ornaments (in six pictures) that I stitched last year -- the candy cane and wreaths were from a kit with materials to make ten, but I actually made twice that.



It's hard to see, but there is a tiny
snowman next to the red birdhouse. 




These both went to a friend's mom who LOVES white bears.


I substituted gray DMC floss for the gold and
yellows so that one of these had silver bells.


I forgot to photograph this one and the one below
after they were framed. Oops! Both were stitched
from kits that included the frames. 





LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wordless Wednesday 249: Snowpeople





Snowman was 2015 present, snowwoman
 was 2016 present made by a friend.



LINKING TO:

Wordless Wednesday




Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Teaser Tuesday 344: Grace Against the Clock

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



This week’s teaser comes from Grace Against the Clock by Julie Hyzy, book five in her “Manor House” series.


He stared at me, unable to focus. His lips moved, but his words were almost indistinguishable.


(Chapter 6)










ABOUT THE BOOK:
Series: Manor House #5

When Marshfield Manor hosts a charity event, Grace Wheaton, the mansion’s curator and manager, is happy to lend a helping hand—until a killer makes an unwanted donation . . .

With the town clock in desperate need of repair, local lawyer Joyce Swedburg and her ex-husband, Dr. Leland Keay, are trying to put aside their differences to organize a benefit at Marshfield manor to raise money for restoration of the beautiful timepiece. While Grace appreciates the opportunity to support such a good cause, the tension between the unhappy exes is giving her the urge to put both of the organizers in time-out.

But after Leland collapses onstage, poisoned during festivities, Grace suspects there was more going on behind the scenes. Now, she’s in a race to catch a ticked-off murderer, and, if she’s going to prevent anyone else from getting hurt, every second will count . . .





Friday, January 06, 2017

Skywatch Friday 179

Another overcast day . . . 


LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday



Thursday, January 05, 2017

Thursday Thirteen 443: A Bookish Theme



I'm borrowing this week's topic from a Sunday Stealing of a few weeks ago . . .



01. How long did it take you to finish your last book? Five days.

02. How many times do you stare at your bookshelves each day? As there are shelves in almost every room, I see them every day.

03. Do you ever quote books in public? It has been known to happen.

04. How old were you when you got your first library card? I was in second grade, and we lived across the street from the library.

05. Do you ever re-read books? Occasionally. I am more likely to re-read a classic or book from my childhood not read in years than something more recent.

06. Do you judge a book by its cover? It has been known to happen. Let's face it, some covers are not just bad, but downright CREEPY. If I have a choice between covers, I will chose one that is a) more aesthetically pleasing and b) in better condition.

07. What are your biggest distractions from reading? Work, Crafts, TV.

08. Where is your favorite place to buy books? Most of my books come from Half Price Books or the library's monthly used book sale. I also buy a lot of books for my Nook (B&N).

09. Do you always have a book with you? Of course!

10. Do you read during breakfast? In bed? I do sometimes read during meals, and almost always read for at least a half hour in bed at night. If I have trouble sleeping, I will try reading for a while.

12. How many hours a day would you say you read?
At least an hour every day, some days much more than that, depending on if I have an entire day off and no plans.

13. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago? Do you consider yourself a speed reader? In 2010-2015 I averaged 8.3 books a month, for a total of 100 per year. Last year's total read was down to 84, or 7 books a month, owing to changes in my work schedule. Obviously, I get more read in some months than others, depending on length and authors' writing styles. Some would say this qualifies me as a fast reader, but I know people who read 200-300 a year. Of course, I often wonder how much of what they read is actually retained.





LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen




Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Wordless Wednesday 248: The Tree

The tree . . . a couple weeks late in sharing




LINKING TO:

Wordless Wednesday




Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Teaser Tuesday 343: Starry Night

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



This week's teaser is from a Christmas romance, Starry Night by Debbie Macomber, which I read over Christmas.



She stumbled and fell face-first onto the ice.

Before she could right herself, the wolf was nearly on top of her.


(Chapter Two)







ABOUT THE BOOK:

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a mega-bestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

Filled with all the comforts and joys of Christmastime, Starry Night is a delightful novel of finding happiness in the most surprising places.




Saturday, December 31, 2016

Random Photo: Sunset, Dec 18

Sunset, December 18, 2016





Thursday, December 29, 2016

Skywatch Friday 178

Taken at sunset, Dec 22 . . .













LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday





Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Merry!




Merry Christmas to all, 
and to all a good night . . .




Friday, December 23, 2016

Skywatch Friday 177

Rare (for me!) sunrise photos . . . Saturday morning, I happened to glance outside as the sun peaked over the rooftops in my neighborhood, painting ribbons of pink across the sky. Not long after, the sky was overcast once again, as more snow began to fall. We've had snow every weekend this month -- 5 inches the first weekend, then 8, and another 7.4 inches last weekend. Thankfully, only "light" snow is expected this weekend. At least we have a White Christmas this year instead of an icky brown, rainy one.
















LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday





Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Thirteen 443: More Christmas Cards

For your viewing pleasure, I have thirteen more Holiday cards made this year. I churned out about 50 cards over the last weekend, all of which were either handed out or posted Monday.



All of the "Santa Postage" cards were made
from a sheet called "Christmas Cheer" from
Graphic45, which I cut up into blocks of 2-4
images (with a couple singles leftover)


This one looks far more stunning and elegant IRL.




This card is a "short skinny" one,
measuring 6-1/4 x 3-1/3, and
fits a small standard letter envelope.




All images, including this 3D stitcker, are popped up
using adhesives squares for a bit of dimension.


Top panel is popped up. 








The deer image was leftover from cards made several
years ago. Still have a bunch left.










LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen